In church this week, the reading was about John the Baptist. The priest was talking about prophets. He told us everyone is a prophet.
That’s right. Me and you. Prophets.
Do you believe it?
If not, change your mind today. Think of yourself as divinely inspired (you are) and filled with light (you are) and able to make a difference in the lives of people around you (you can).
He didn’t call on the most learned scholarly people to share the good news. He doesn’t call people because they look perfect or act perfect or know everything. That wild man in the desert pointed to the Great Light. Don’t you think He can use a suburban mom or dad or a high school student or a teenager who feels lost? Why wouldn’t He use a CEO or a teacher or a Doctor or a coach? Don’t you believe He can use you?
What do you hear Him saying to you?
How is your heart feeling tugged?
What do you know to be true about God and faith and Jesus and the Good News?
Don’t believe the lie that you don’t have enough education. Don’t believe the lie that you don’t fit the mold of what a prophet looks like. There is no mold. Jesus took all of that and threw it out the window. He plucked people out of the margins and encouraged them to lead. He will use you if you let him.
The world needs your voice. Your unique voice. Even if it shakes. Especially when it shakes.
You know in your heart if He is calling you. You know the answer has always been and will always be, “Yes, Lord, use me”. If you have yet to admit this out loud, do it today. Don’t hesitate any longer. Use your voice to lift up the Lord. Be like John the Baptist and prepare the way.
I don’t know if it’s the “preacher” voice or the beautiful words. I don’t know if it’s the pictures that bring back memories of growing up in a farming town…the beauty of the land, the weathered hands and faces of neighbors and friends…the talk of harvests and crops and rain and animals. I suppose it’s all of those things and more.
It’s the blessing of the food and the abundance of God’s love for us. It’s the gratitude I feel when I take a minute to think about farmers and their commitment and their patience and their grace.
It’s because I’m in awe of their quiet, gentle way about living. They know the land and the sky and the wind and the sun and they honor all of them. It’s because they accept the ebb and flow of life and harvests and because they keep doing what they do in the good and the bad years. There is hope in that acceptance and it is beautiful.
This commercial came on last night and the room fell silent. It’s the contrast of a graceful voice – gentle but strong – talking about God and farmers – juxtaposed against Beyonce and her amped up sexuality. It was a moment of grace in the middle of the spectacle. The noise stopped for 2 minutes and we paid attention.
We honored this commercial and in doing so, we honored the farmers and our God who created them and continues to sustain them. If you missed it, watch it here now. If you saw it, watch it again. If you were in a room full of people that didn’t fall silent and you don’t know what I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and watch.
Take a couple minutes to remember and to thank God and to thank the farmers.
They say one of the greatest fears of people today is that they will live an ordinary life. That they will not be famous or well known or rich. That their lives will mean nothing unless they are played out on the world stage. It makes me sad that our society supports and perpetuates this lie. It makes me even sadder that there are times when I have also believed this lie.
There are times when I write this blog and hope for more hits and more views and more subscribers thinking that all of those things will make me a “real writer”. I’m ashamed to say that there have been times that I have been jealous when other writers are published and I am not. I would love for one of my posts to go viral and for me to get tons of publicity and recognition. I am embarrassed to say that I have looked outside for affirmation knowing full well that I only need to write for an audience of One.
I know this is it. My opportunity. My real life. I know it’s my time to sow – to write and to pray with people and to encourage others in their faith. Whether it’s one person or twenty or twenty million…that’s up to God. I will write for Him. And then I’ll take a lesson from the farmers. The lesson about Hope…and commitment and acceptance.
My dream is to feed with my words like they have fed with their hands and their hard work. I will write so maybe my words are the quiet 2 minutes for someone in the day that is a spectacle. I will write so they hear grace and gratitude amidst the hyped up sexuality and violence of our culture. I will write so that for a few minutes, there is no noise and in the quiet…they can hear God.
If one person hears the voice of God through something I have written or something I have shared, if one person opens a Bible for the first time or falls to their knees in prayer, if one person understands and really gets it that they are not alone and they are loved…then I have reached His dream for me. That dream that is bigger and better than all the others…the dream that is deep in my heart and will bring real, lasting joy…the dream of feeding His people…of sharing the Bread of Life…of bringing nourishment to a hungry world.
The other day we were teaching our seventh grade religion class. We were talking about inner monologue and how important it is to speak kind words in your heart and mind. We went around the room and had everyone say…”I am blessed”. This was very powerful. I loved watching them say it out loud!
Then today I was watching Oprah’s Life Class with Joel Osteen and it was all about “I am…” He said however you finish that sentence will be what you attract in your life. If you walk around saying “I am fat” or “I am broke” or “I am tired”. You will attract those things.
The opposite is true too. By saying “I am blessed” you attract blessings. He offered up new words for people, new ways to finish the sentence. One woman said, “I am at the bottom” and he asked her to change that to be positive and she said, “I am at the bottom and I am looking up”. LOVE IT!
He had everyone stand and repeat after him. Some words he added were (“I am….”) equipped, confident, creative, ready, beautiful, blessed, and victorious. I was standing there in front of the TV with my hands raised like a preacher repeating after him. When I said, “I am victorious” I had some Holy Spirit tears. I’m not gonna lie, I am loving me some Joel Osteen…and I love Oprah of course which should go without saying. She’s there shouting out personal affirmations along with everyone else. Who doesn’t need to hear this message?!?!
What is your inner voice telling you? How do you finish the sentence “I am…”?
Remember…if you don’t like the story you are telling yourself…change it. You have that power. Do it. Change it. Be good to yourself.
This will be fun! Respond in the comments section.
Let’s help each other use words of affirmation. We can literally change our future.